So Michael Brown is no longer in control of the situation on the Gulf Coast. Okay, let me rephrase that: Michael Brown is no longer pretending to be in control of the situation on the Gulf Coast. Yesterday, he was moved back to Washington and relinquished control over the federal government's recovery operations in Louisiana and Mississippi. FEMA says that this has nothing to do with the lethal clusterfuck he made of the post-hurricane rescue operations and George Bush hasn't held a press conference to officially retract his "You're doing a hell of a job here, Brownie" comment.
If, then, Brown's gross incompetence over the last few weeks isn't behind the move, then what is? They can parse this any way they want, but in the end, it's clearly a demotion. Hairshirt has spoken to a host of Washington insiders in the hours since the announcement of Brown's transfer and we heard a wide variety of theories, including:
Brown requested the transfer back to D.C. because he was concerned about the care and feeding of his pet boa constrictor, Winky.
The Bush administration felt that Brown was too good at his job and that he might be making state and local officials with whom he was working feel inadequate.
Brown is, in reality, retarded. The group home in which he lives does not allow residents to be out of the facility unsupervised for more than a week at a time.
Those awful colored people in New Orleans put a voodoo curse on Brown, causing him to grow an extra arm out of his ass, which required immediate surgery at Walter Reed.
Pat Robertson told God that somebody else should be in charge and God made it happen.
Brown was homesick for his blanky.
They're building a super-secret New New Orleans in a factory on the East Coast that they're going to fly in and drop in the spot where the old one was and they needed Brown to go and supervise its construction.
Brown suffers from the same form of Social Anxiety Disorder that vice-president Cheney has and can't stand to be in public view during a crisis.
After seeing how charismatic Brown was during his press conferences, cinematic auteur Terrence Malick cast him as the lead in his new project, an all-human remake of The Muppet Movie.
Brown's TiVo was getting too full of episodes of Laguna Beach, so he had to go home and take some of them off of it.
After seeing the bang-up job he did for FEMA, the International Arabian Horse Administration realized what a horrible mistake they'd made in firing him and offered him his old job back at twice the salary.
Whatever the reason, I'm sure the residents of the Gulf Coast are very, very sad to see Brown go. Why, I bet they're baking him a huge good-bye cake and planning the most lovely bon voyage soiree. Parting is such sweet sorrow.